SPRING BOOKS 2006 - Pleasurable Kingdom ▪ Viruses VS. Superbugs ▪ Lonesome George ▪ Sex, Drugs & DNA

Pleasurable Kingdom: Animals and the nature of feeling good; Viruses Vs. Superbugs: A solution to the antibiotics crisis?; One tortoise's tale of conservation, commerce, cloning, combat and collecting on the high seas; A refreshing polemic on the promises, pitfalls and politics of science - with cartoons!

macmillanscience: big ideas, great stories, fine writing

Pleasurable Kingdom: Animals and the nature of feeling good
by Jonathan Balcombe

A rousing case for animal fun and its evolutionary and ethical implications
Details: 02 MAY 2006; Macmillan; ISBN 1403986010; Hardback £16.99/$24.95
AUTHOR/JACKET image downloads: http://www.macmillanscience.com/1403986010.htm

THE BOOK: Pleasurable Kingdom is the first trade book to focus on new evidence that animals, like humans, enjoy themselves. It debunks the popular perception that life for most is a continuous, grim struggle for survival. Instead it suggests that creatures from birds to bats to baboons may feel good thanks to play, sex, touch, food, anticipation, comfort, aesthetics and more.

Combining rigorous evidence, elegant argument and amusing anecdote, leading animal-behaviour researcher Dr Jonathan Balcombe proposes that evolution favours sensory rewards because they drive living things to stay alive and reproduce.

Animal pain and stress, once controversial, are now acknowledged by legislation in many countries. Likewise the possibility of positive feelings in creatures other than humans has important ramifications for science and society and is thus ripe for informed debate, Balcombe concludes.

THE AUTHOR: Dr Jonathan Balcombe is Animal Behaviour Research Scientist for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. He has published numerous scientific papers and magazine articles on, among other things, bat communication, turtle nesting and bird breeding. His first book, The Use of Animals in Higher Education: Problems, Alternatives and Recommendations, was published by Humane Society Press in 2000. Jonathan, a lifelong animal-rights campaigner and birdwatcher, lives in Washington D.C. with his wife and daughter. [For more information on Dr Balcombe and his book please visit www.pleasurablekingdom.com ]

AUTHOR CONTACTS: +1 202-686-2210; [email protected]

EVENTS: 10-city US tour; Edinburgh Science Festival, British Library, London Science Museum, Borders Cambridge. For details and updates see www.macmillanscience.com/blog.asp


· 'Balcombe draws together an extraordinary amount of information to help us to appreciate that we are not the only species that can, if all goes well, live joyful lives.' Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University, USA

· 'For centuries humanity has justified our extermination of fishes with the myth that they do not have feelings or intelligence. Balcombe exposes this myth and presents fishes, and other animals, as sensitive, social, feeling and marvellous sentient beings.' Captain Paul Watson, founder of Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

· 'A love affair with our fellow beings. Balcombe tempts us to consider, more open-mindedly than ever before, the experiences of animals in more ways than traditional science has yet acknowledged, perhaps even imagined.' Professor Jaak Panksepp, author of Affective Neuroscience

· 'This impressive book takes the reader on a journey of scientific knowledge and understanding into the inner lives of others, from mice to monkeys and fish to fowl - and even insects and worms - that inspires respect and appreciation for all creatures great and small. It should be a standard text for students of biology and behaviour. All who care for animals will be informed and inspired'. Dr Michael W. Fox, Veterinarian, columnist, author

Viruses Vs. Superbugs: A solution to the antibiotics crisis?
by Dr Thomas Häusler

A gripping new look at the old drugs that could beat antibiotic-resistant bacteria

DETAILS: 02 MAY 2006; Macmillan; ISBN 1403987645; Hardback £16.99/$24.95
AUTHOR/JACKET image downloads: http://www.macmillanscience.com/1403987645.htm

THE BOOK: Every year, thousands die worldwide from antibiotic-resistant 'superbugs' such as MRSA. Better drugs are urgently needed. A surprising ray of hope is actually a blast from the past. Viruses that kill bacteria, but not us, called 'bacteriophages' ('phages' for short) were discovered around 1915. Phage therapy became popular from the 1920s until the introduction of penicillin 20 years later. Only in the countries of the Eastern bloc did the therapy survive and thrive. Now western researchers and companies are working on a comeback for phage therapy.

This book tells the fascinating story of the discoverers, and re-discoverers, of phages in the west and the Soviet Union. Award-winning science journalist Thomas Häusler follows the trail of one pioneer killed by Stalin's secret service, and his successors in today's war-torn Georgia, accompanies patients that are taking refuge in phages because standard drugs fail them, and investigates how these long-forgotten cures may help sick people today.

THE AUTHOR: Dr Thomas Häusler is chief science editor of the Swiss news magazine Facts. He has won several awards for his journalistic work, including one for an article about phage therapy published in the world-renowned German weekly Die Zeit. Thomas lives in Basel with his wife and young daughter.

AUTHOR CONTACTS: +41 1 248 56 81; [email protected]


· 'A vivid and engaging picture of the larger-than-life characters who committed themselves to the development of phage therapy. The science is there - in easily understandable language - but so are Stalin's purges and the Second World War. Bacteriophage therapy has not yet taken off but it has promise. This authoritative book explains why.' Professor T. Hugh Pennington, president of the British Society for General Microbiology

· 'Scientific journalism at its best. Häusler shares with us the fascinating fruits of a remarkable year-long odyssey in time and space, during which he explored the depths of archives old and new from the Pasteur Institute, to the US National Institutes of Health, to Los Angeles hospitals, to Tbilisi, to German companies, digging out long-lost records of far more work (and success) with phage therapy than anyone knew existed. His thoughtful interviews and strong, ongoing scholarship bring to life the work of Felix d'Herelle and his scientific descendents in tantalizing and accessible fashion and give strong reason to believe that phages can be a powerful aid in dealing with the pressing antibiotic crisis.' Professor Elizabeth Kutter, Evergreen State College, Olympia, USA

· 'This book, documented with rare photographs and abundant references, is a fascinating contribution to the history of medicine. Phages are now produced by a number of companies and appear, provided that they are used by responsible and knowledgeable practitioners, to be a promising alternative to antibiotics.' Professor Hans-Wolfgang Ackermann, Laval University, Canada

· 'The reader will put down this page-turner inspired, hopeful, and utterly convinced of phage therapy's imminence and inevitability. An indispensable primer for everyone concerned with the onset of the post-antibiotic age.' Asher Wilf, CEO, Phage-Biotech


One tortoise's tale of conservation, commerce, cloning, combat and collecting on the high seas

Details: 03 APRIL 2006; Macmillan; ISBN 1403945764; Hardback £16.99/$24.95
AUTHOR/JACKET image downloads: http://www.macmillanscience.com/1403945764.htm

THE BOOK: Lonesome George the giant tortoise has come to embody the challenges of conservation worldwide. His story captures the mystery, complexity and fragility of the Galapagos Islands - via Master & Commander-style combat and collecting, moonlit escapes from machete-wielding hoards, obsession, exploration, sexual dysfunction, culture clashes, Charles Darwin, hostages, cloning, DNA fingerprinting and eco-tourism.

Lonesome George is on the Galapagos Islands' stamps. He is 5ft long, weighs 200lb and is aged between 60 and 200. In 1971 he was discovered on the remote island of Pinta, from which tortoises had supposedly been exterminated by whalers and seal hunters in search of a square meal. He has been at the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island ever since, on the off-chance that scientific ingenuity will conjure up a way for him to reproduce, and resurrect his species. Meanwhile, a million tourists and dozens of baffled scientists have looked on as George shows not a jot of interest in the female company provided.

Henry Nicholls details the efforts of conservationists to preserve the Galapagos' unique biodiversity and illustrates how their experiences and discoveries are echoed the world over. He explores the controversies raging over which mates are most appropriate for George and the risks of releasing crossbreed offspring into the wild. His story draws together the islands' evolution, history of human exploitation and imperilled future. It features strong characters, from Darwin, to cloning pioneer Ian Wilmut, to the beautiful Swiss graduate who spent four months trying to persuade George to have sex. Some 100,000 tourists visit the Galapagos Islands each year; all drop in on George.

THE AUTHOR: Dr Henry Nicholls writes for many of the world's leading science periodicals including NewScientist, PLOS, Nature and Science. Following his PhD in evolutionary ecology Henry edited The Encyclopedia of Life Sciences and wrote for BioMedNet before becoming editor of the premier history of science journal, Endeavour. He lives in London with his wife and new son.

AUTHOR CONTACTS: [email protected] ; +44 (0)20 8858 1460

EVENTS: Brighton Science Festival, British Library, London Science Museum, Borders Cambridge, Cheltenham Science Festival, Bristol Festival of Nature. For details and updates see www.macmillanscience.com/blog.asp


· 'If Darwin were alive today he would be fascinated by Henry Nicholls' splendid account of this solitary survivor from Pinta Island. A must for anyone who cares about extinction or has a soft spot for the remarkable history of a very singular animal.' Janet Browne, author of Charles Darwin: A Biography

· 'This is a wonderful tale of an almost mythical beast. Rich in historical detail George's story is one of pathos, despair and hope with some quirky reproductive biology thrown in for good measure. Henry Nicholls has done us all a service, reminding us of the fragility of life in general and of one very special chelonian in particular. Essential reading.' Tim Birkhead FRS, author of Promiscuity and The Red Canary

· 'When tortoises were common on the Galapagos island of Pinta, sailors ate them. When they became rare, collectors pickled and stuffed the last few, "for science". Now it seems that only one is left - the huge and lugubrious Lonesome George - there is talk of applying the most heroic technology, cloning and the rest, to keep his lineage going. It is a cracking tale - and crackingly well told. Giant tortoises are indeed extraordinary - but not as strange as human beings.' Colin Tudge, author of The Secret Life of Trees


A refreshing polemic on the promises, pitfalls and politics of science - with cartoons!
Details: 03 aPRIL 2006; Macmillan; ISBN 1403993424; Hardback £16.99/$24.95
AUTHOR/JACKET/CARTOON downloads http://www.macmillanscience.com/1403993424.htm

THE BOOK: Dr Michael Stebbins is enraged. Having worked at the heart of government science, at the most prestigious global science publishing company, and in one of the world's leading biology labs, he has a unique view of the politics, culture and reach of science. He doesn't like what he's seeing one bit.

In this explosive new polemic, Dr Stebbins reveals what most biologists and politicians are afraid to about what research can and, perhaps more importantly, cannot deliver. He leaves no can of worms unopened: from sexuality, race and genetic modification to stem cells, cloning, IQ, medical insurance, fertility treatment and bioterrorism. He shows how truly novel and necessary work is being hobbled in the US, currently the world's scientific goliath, and calls for wide-reaching changes in education, funding, legislation, publishing and promulgation. [Featuring original cartoons by Dr Sean Taverna].

THE AUTHOR: Dr Michael Stebbins is the Director of Biology Policy for the Federation of American Scientists and a former US Congressional Fellow in Science Policy. Before that he was a senior editor at Nature Genetics and a geneticist at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. He has written for Reuters and numerous scientific journals and has appeared on NPR's 'All Things Considered'. He is an advisor to ScienCentral, a National Science Foundation funded science TV news feed that goes out on ABC and NBC affiliates. [For more information on Dr. Stebbins and the book please visit www.sexdrugsanddna.com ]

AUTHOR CONTACTS: [email protected] ; +1 703 625 1512

EVENTS: Cold Spring Harbor, British Library, London Science Museum, Borders Cambridge. For details and updates see www.macmillanscience.com/blog.asp


· 'Gutsy and in-your-face, Stebbins talks about science as it's never been talked about before. Prepare to be offended - and enlightened.' Chris Mooney, author of The Republican War on Science

· "A take-no-prisoners look at some of the most controversial issues of our generation." Gina Smith, author of The Genomics Age


The above titles are the latest in Macmillan Publishers' critically acclaimed global popular science list, featuring entertaining, authoritative books about the drama, politics, history and implications of research and discovery, appealing to a broad readership. For more information see www.macmillanscience.com

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Published: 20 Jan 2006

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